Pierce the Veil Explode on We Will Detonate Tour

A masked intruder enters the stage from behind a curtain, greeted by the screams of those in attendance at the Egyptian Room in downtown Indianapolis. As the anticipation builds, the masked man ignites a box labeled “TNT,” dropping the curtain and unleashing a wave of streamers and confetti as Pierce the Veil rip into rapid opener “Texas is Forever”.

It was just two years ago that the post-hardcore act from San Diego graced this very same stage as I pondered the extended wait for their fourth full-length album. That release came at long last in 2016 with Misadventures, an album that not only lived up to expectations, but deserved another full U.S. trek that has now arrived in the form of the “We Will Detonate!” tour.


But before we get ahead of ourselves, this tour is far more than a victory lap for Pierce the Veil, but also includes a band nearing the top of their game and another band that helped pave the way for the scene as we know it.

Since taking over as lead vocalist for Emarosa, Bradley Walden has been elevating the band’s sound to new heights. Last year’s 131 was a triumph, shedding the notion of what a post-hardcore band could accomplish by embracing pop sensibilities and handling its heartbreaking subject matter with sensitivity and honesty.

Before the opening notes of “Sure” can reach the back of the venue, Walden has jumped into the crowd, where he’ll spend a good portion of the band’s energetic set. Despite the somber tone of some of the band’s newer tracks, Walden and company ramp up the energy of the crowd through their performance. The crowd joins in on the vocal action during single “Helpless” and “Young Lonely”, assisting Walden, whose golden pipes require very little help in belting out every note.

Sum 41

Next up is Sum 41, whose 2016 album 13 Voices finds the band in a sort of resurgence. Although never truly absent from the scene, this collection of surprisingly aggressive material has seemingly breathed new life into the band, which shows during performances of “Fake My Own Death” and “Goddamn I’m Dead Again”.

Deryck Whibley has always been a joy to watch on stage, carrying himself like a true punk elder statesman. Transitioning from smirk to scowl, Whibley leads the crowd in sing-alongs as they rip through their set. Even though it’s a blast to hear new material, there’s still nothing quite like singing along to classics like “In Too Deep” and “Fat Lip”, which sound just as good as ever.

As Pierce the Veil explode into the evening’s final set, it’s easy to see why they remain one of the most electric bands in the genre. Per usual, their stage presence is on point with lead guitarist Tony Perry and bassist Jaime Preciado bounding across the stage amid flashes of light. Vocalist Vic Fuentes commands the crowd from behind the mic while his brother Mike powers the set forward from his drum kit, appropriately mounted atop a giant stack of dynamite.

Pierce the Veil

Something that feels slightly lost in the buzz surrounding Misadventures is the fact that the band recently passed the decade mark, with their debut album A Flair for the Dramatic turning 10 years old this year. Placed amidst hits from Misadventures and Collide with the Sky, the band take time to play classics like “Yeah Boy and Doll Face” and “Stay Away From My Friends”. These moments serve as reminders that Pierce the Veil have been on the rise for a while now, and these older songs are still just as fun to sing along to as they were when the band were sweating out club shows in the late aughts.

Pierce the Veil continue to set the standard for this scene, not only in terms of inventive post hardcore, but with their dedication to extraordinary live performances. I’ve seen songs like “Caraphernelia” and “King for a Day” played countless times at this point, but it’s still a blast to see the energy the band brings to the stage show after show. If we’re lucky, our next wait for new music and another grand tour to show it off won’t last four long years.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Review: Pierce the Veil – Misadventures


Four years is a long time to wait – just ask fans of San Diego post-hardcore act Pierce the Veil. The band made the leap in 2012 with the release of their highly lauded album Collide with the Sky, rising from the scene quagmire to become one of the biggest rock bands around. High profile tours and festival placements kept the band on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but as the days continued to tick past with no sight of a new record, it was hard not to wonder if Pierce the Veil had reached their peak.

You can buy Misadventures on iTunes.

You can buy Misadventures on iTunes.

Rumors of Vic Fuentes’ writer’s block did little to quell the concern – and turned out to be partly true. The singer would eventually become fed up with the four studio walls that encapsulated his creativity, hitting the road with the band last year on a journey that would finally spark inspiration; resulting in one of the most unexpected releases you’ll hear this year.

Misadventures is good. It’s really good, actually. But on the first few listens, it’s hard to pinpoint why. For a band that has followed a particular sonic thread through the course of its career, Misadventures is an experiment of the highest order. This album is still very much Pierce the Veil, but it’s a Pierce the Veil you’ve never heard, and didn’t even know you wanted to hear.

The band once again worked with producer Dan Korneff, but requested that he push them in ways that they’d never explored in the past. It’s not often for a band of this stature to mess with a working formula and even less often for it to happen when working with a familiar face. Nevertheless, Misadventures is littered with surprising twists and turns.

I’ve long championed the band for being one of the most technically sound acts in the scene. Collide with the Sky proved the band to be cut from another cloth as they perfected their own signature polished post-hardcore crunch. On Misadventures, Pierce the Veil seeks to perfect everyone else’s sound, too.

Take “Floral & Fading” – easily the slowest and least chaotic song the band has ever written, the track captures the slowed-down, ballad-y pop vibe that All Time Low have been chasing for years, all the way down to the precisely placed “Woah-oh oh’s.” “Bedless” is a deep cut that exhibits a Circa Survive feel with it’s sharp opening notes and jerky pace, while “Sambuka” is an up-tempo punk number.

If it’s not clear already, be warned: early listens to Misadventures are likely to result in whiplash for the uninitiated.

“Today I Saw the Whole World” is one of the most aggressive songs the band has ever written, with frenzied guitar riffs pulled straight from the Saosin playbook. Mike Fuentes has never sounded better behind the kit, driving the track forward at a manic pace with several unruly fills thrown in for good measure.

Once the clamor comes to a close, the album immediately shifts gears once more, leading into the 80s inspired “Gold Medal Ribbon”, one of the most remarkably pleasing track on the album. Complete with an opening guitar solo and starfall keys for good measure, you’re already lost in the sound by the time Vic enters at the one-minute mark with the pleading opening lines of,  “Are you up there? Just give me a signal, I’m reaching you now / Cuz I remember the sound of your voice but I don’t remember what we talked about”.

For all of the experimenting that will define the early chatter surrounding Misadventures, it should be noted that the band also takes ample time to refine and upgrade the Pierce the Veil sound you’ve come to love. Album opener “Dive In” rips from start to finish, highlighted by Tony Perry’s stellar riffing, Jaime Preciado’s thumping bassline and some well-placed programming elements that round out the track. Fuentes tears out of the gate with the ruthless opening lines of, “Dive in, take a breath / Blow the smoke through the hole in my chest”. When the track kicks into high gear “Hell Above”-style around the 1:30 mark, it’s a subtle reminder that this actually is a Pierce the Veil album after all.

Despite the band’s success in recent years, Fuentes’ status as one of the best lyricists around has remained one of the scene’s best-kept secrets. The quirks of Misadventures offer Vic the opportunity to take his knack for turn of phrase to another level, even while overdramatic on “Today I Saw the Whole World”: “While you stood over the pavement I was biting the curb / Sick entertainment, but I bet it feels good (coming down) / Can’t bear to wash out the wasted time / Between your lips and mine”.

Yet just like the sonic journey of Misadventures, the album is a thematic carousel as well, touching on a number of topics well outside of the usual breakup banter. “Circles” tells the story of a couple fleeing for their lives during the 2015 Paris attacks, as Vic sings, “Paper hearts turned to ash begin to fly over our heads / I begin screaming while the exit signs read ‘Heaven’s waiting’”. On album closer “Song for Isabelle”, Fuentes ponders the dark pain and weight that can accompany us once our childhood vanishes.

It’s a testament to the band’s talents that Misadventures doesn’t come off as scatterbrained or over-reaching, even in its most peculiar moments. Instead, the album reads as a collection of journal entries, documenting the band’s long road over the past four years, varying from page to page in both sound and lyric. Which chapters you choose to save to your playlist is likely to vary based on taste, but there’s a little something here for everyone.

Still, perhaps the most exciting thing about Misadventures is the endless roads that now lay before a band no longer confined to their own box. It’s clear that Pierce the Veil has the chops to carry on in any number of sonic directions, continually expanding their massive audience. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another four years to find out what comes next.


by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Pierce the Veil to Release “Misadventures” on May 13


At long last, Pierce the Veil have announced their highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Collide with the Sky. Misadventures is set to release on May 13 via Fearless Records. The album was produced by Dan Korneff, who co-produced Collide as well. You can view a video announcement from the band below, along with the album artwork and track list:


Track list:
Dive In
Texas is Forever
The Divine Zero
Floral & Fading
Phantom Power and Ludicrous Speed
Today I Saw the Whole World
Gold Medal Ribbon
Song for Isabelle

What are your thoughts on the announcement of Misadventures? Share your excitement for the album in the comments!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Most Anticipated of 2016: #2 Pierce the Veil Finally Deliver


The Sky is the Limit

When Pierce the Veil released “The Divine Zero” last June, just in time for their run on the Vans Warped Tour, it appeared that the wait for their overdue follow up to 2012’s Collide with the Sky was finally over. Six months later, the wait continues. Will 2016 finally bring one of the most anticipated post-hardcore records in recent memory?

Whether it be writer’s block or otherwise that has kept the San Diego act from returning with a new album, Pierce the Veil have lost little in terms of interest. Still one of the scene’s biggest draws, the band have been able to weather the lull thanks to the lasting power of Collide with the Sky, a surprisingly progressive album, chock full of energy.

That energy translates well to Pierce the Veil’s stellar live performance, which has been another saving grace for the band during this relative stillness. Still, you can feel the confusion and worry setting in with fans as the clock continues to tick. It’s not unprecedented for a band this talented and possessing this much scene capital to fail to follow through on promises and remain in relative limbo (*cough* Saosin *cough*).

But amidst all the foot tapping and hand wringing, there remains the truth that Vic Fuentes, one of emo-core’s most exciting vocalists and songwriters and an admitted perfectionist, could very well be putting the finishing touches on a masterpiece. If any band in the scene is capable of delivering an album that meets the kind of ungodly expectations that this one now does, it just might be Pierce the Veil.

No matter the outcome, after nearly four years of singing the same songs, fans are ready to be rewarded for their patience. It’s time for the talking to end and the music to begin.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.